Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/157

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Human Sacrifices.

sacrificial feast upon the flesh as when a pig was offered; only little bits were eaten by those who desired to get fighting mana, by young men, and by elders for a special purpose. Such sacrifices were thought more effectual than others, and advantage was taken of a crime, or imputed crime, to take a life and offer the man to some tindalo. So within the memory of men still young, Dikea, the chief of Ravu, condemned one Gisukokovilo to death for stealing tobacco, and the grown lads of Handika ate bits of him cooked in the sacrificial fire. The same Dikea offered a human sacrifice in the year 1886. Two calamities had fallen upon Dikea. One of his wives proved false, and he sent her away, vowing that she should not return till he had sacrificed to Hauri. Also his son had died, and he made a vow that he would kill a man for him. Some thought that he would kill a man to bury with the boy, but he did not. He dug up his buried son that he might see him once more; and again, according to the common practice, he took up his 'skull and set it in his sacred place. It was widely known that Dikea had made his vow, and that he would pay well for some one to kill. The Savo people had bought a captive boy in Guadalcanar, lame and nearly blind, and him, they brought and sold to Dikea for twenty coils of money. The boy, ignorant of the language, did not know his fate. Dikea, laying his hand on the victim's breast, cried 'Hauri! here is a man for you,' and his followers killed him with clubs and axes. His head was taken to set up with Dikea's collection of skulls, his legs were sent away to make known what had been done, but none of him was eaten: 'So Dikea sacrificed to Hauri with that boy.' In Bugotu of Ysabel the sacrifices, havugagi, are the same with those of Florida; only the dwellers along the coast sacrificed human victims, and this practice they said, as in Florida, had come to them from further west. When the head of an enemy killed in a fight was brought in triumph, bits were cut off and burnt in sacrifice. A captive would be taken to the sacred place, the burial-place of the tindatho to whom the sacrifice was to be made, and there bound hand and foot. Then the men of the place, following the chief who led the